Warren Whiteley will lead a strong Emirates Lions side when they take the field against the Jaguares in their Super Rugby opener in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday evening (00:40 East African Time).
The Lions have handed a franchise Super rugby debut to Carlu Sadie (formerly of the Stormers), while the bench includes new faces in Frans van Wyk, Ruan Vermaak, Gianni Lombard and Wandisile Simelane.
The Lions’ other new signing, Stephan Lewies (formerly of the Sharks), has a minor pectoral tear and should be ready for action next week, while flank Kwagga Smith is also sidelined for a week with a calf injury.
The Lions have played the Jaguares three times in Argentina and have yet to come away with a victory.
Lions XV: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyanti, 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Ruan Vermaak, 20 Robert Kruger, 21 Gianni Lombard/Dillon Smit, 22 Wandisile Simelane, 23 Ruan Combrinck